Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Have questions?

Our team has pulled together the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about the EmploymentWorks program that are most commonly asked by Agencies, Participants, Mentors and Employers:
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FAQs for Agencies

Where is EmploymentWorks currently offered?

Check out the Locations page to find a program provider near you!

How do I know if the program is the right fit for my organization?

If you have adults with autism or other disabilities seeking help to find, and keep, a job, this might be the perfect program for your organization. Click here to find out more about the program.

What is the program format?

Check out The Program page to get a quick overview of the format. Don't hesitate to contact us for more detailed questions!

What is the staffing model?

Typically, during the 12 week Manualized Program, EmploymentWorks is run by a Program Coordinator whose main role is to oversee the program in its’ entirety, and 2 Program Facilitators who attend and support the sessions that run twice a week . Structured Learning sessions are most often supported by 2 program staff whereas the Job Sampling sessions maintain a ratio of 1 staff member to 3 participants.  The staffing model to support participants with the Labour Market Participation phase will vary by program location.

What does the program cost to run?

A free license is required to access the EmploymentWorks program materials and resources. Costs to run the program consist primarily of staff wages and local transportation. Human resource costs vary by organization and location, but a good starting place is to allocate 2 days per week for each of the staff members (1 x Program Coordinator and 2 x Program Facilitators) and approximately $400 for local transportation (mileage and parking).

Contact us to learn more about the free license!

Are there any fees to become an EmploymentWorks site?

IT’S FREE. Contact us to learn more about the free license to run the program.

Are there any fees for participants to take part in the program?

Some programs may charge a fee for program participation as a cost-recovery measure. This will vary based on location.

FAQs for Participants

Where is EmploymentWorks currently offered?

Check our Locations page to find a program provider near you!

How do I know if the program is right for me?

If you’re over the age of 15, have autism or another disability and are looking for an opportunity to develop the skills you need to succeed in the workplace, this may be the program for you! Explore this website to learn more about what you can expect. The Program and For Participants pages are great places to start!

What can I expect to learn in the program?

EmploymentWorks is designed for individuals who are seeking support to find and keep a job. During the 12 week program, there are two weekly sessions – one that focuses on social, communication and job skills development, and a second that provides opportunities to practice these skills in a variety of workplace settings. Once this phase of the program is complete, the focus will be on the best next steps to help you participate in the labour market. This could include things like connecting you to employment agencies and assisting with interview preparation. Contact your local program provider to learn more about the program in your area!

How many people are in the program?

Each program location may vary slightly, but typically there are 8 participants during the 12 week program.

How long is the program? What does the commitment look like?

Phase 1 of the program is 12 weeks long and is comprised of two 2.5 hour sessions a week – 1 classroom based and 1 at a job site. Once you have completed the manualized 12 week program, the goal will be to support you to improve your participation in the labour market – in other words, to support you on your path to employment. Approaches will vary in intensity and duration based on your individual needs and the program location.

What experience do I need to participate?

No experience is required, just a desire to find a job and a willingness to actively participate!

Are there any fees to participate in the program?

Some programs may charge a fee for program participation. Contact your local program provider to find out more.

FAQs for Mentors

Where is EmploymentWorks currently offered?

Check our Locations page to find a program provider near you!

How do I know if the program is right for me?

If you are over the age of 18 and are willing to share your experiences related to employment, this may be a great volunteer opportunity for you. Check out For Mentors to learn more.

What does a mentor do in the EmploymentWorks program?

Mentors provide support, reinforcement, and positive role modeling to program participants as they focus on developing their employment skills and in turn, develop social, communication, time management, leadership, and people skills.

What is the program time commitment?

Mentors attend the Structured Learning sessions which are held weekly for 12 weeks and run for 2.5 hours. Contact your local program provider to learn more.

What experience do I need to participate?

Mentors who have prior work and volunteer experience would likely have relevant insights to share with program participants. Otherwise there are no other strict experience requirements!

FAQs for Employers

Where is EmploymentWorks currently offered?

Check our Locations page to find a program provider near you!

What does it mean to be an employer in this program?

As an employer with EmploymentWorks, your organization will provide opportunities for individuals with autism and other disabilities to work shoulder-to-shoulder with employees to gain valuable, hands-on experience. Check out For Employers to learn more.

How do I get involved?

Contact your local program provider to find out more about becoming an employer. No EmploymentWorks program in your area? Contact us to find out other ways you can make a difference in employment outcomes for individuals with autism and other disabilities.

What is the program time commitment?

Employers are typically asked to commit to a minimum of two 5 hour time-slots over the course of a 12 week period. Programs are typically offered anywhere from 1-3 times a year based on program location.

Am I expected to hire program participants?

While you are not expected to hire program participants, becoming an employer in this program provides a unique opportunity to get to know potential employees and see them in action. Many of our employers find employees through the program! Check out this video from an employer in Calgary.

Do participants replace workers while they are on site?

No – the job-sampling model that is used within EmploymentWorks is intended to provide participants with a variety of workplace experiences. Participants are only on the work site for 2.5 hours at a time to sample job tasks and, where appropriate, may be coached by not only program staff, but employees!